John H. Reagan.
JOHN H. REAGAN.1
WALTER FLAVIUS CCALEB.
When John H. Reagan passed away peacefully in his home at
Fort Houston, near Palestine, Texas lost her most distinguished
citizen, the South one of her most loyal champions, and the Union
an ardent patriot. The last survivor of the Confederate Cabinet,
he belonged to a period of our history, which, in this strenuous
age is already remote, medieval.
He was born so long ago as October 8, 1818, in Sevier County,
Tennessee. The Reagans were of mixed ancestry-English, Irish,
German, Welsh-and it would be difficult to say which strain pre-
dominated in the character of their most distinguished scion. In
a sense he combined them all, being English in his love of order,
Irish in his prediction for politics, German in his desire for knowl-
edge, Welsh in his persistence of purpose.
The date of his birth was not an inauspicious one, so far as the
West was concerned; for the riflemen of his own State, who, under
Jackson at New Orleans, had aided in destroying Packenham's
army, were but returned from the war. In every village resounded
the songs of triumph; in every household the frontiersmen taught
their children reverence for the Stars and Stripes, and pointed
prophesies of the coming power and glory of the United States.
It is no wonder that young Reagan came to love the Union with an
"almost extravagant devotion." It is a fact, which has been all
too slow of recognition, that the Westerners-the early settlers of
the Mississippi Valley-were the first devotees of the Constitution,
most of whom indeed had borne arms in the revolution, making
possible a Constitution by their victories, rendering it inviolable
by their successes in the second war against the King. Love of
country is a virtue bearing its finest fruit in the hearts of those
1Thanks are due to the Review of Reviews for permission to make use
of certain portions of my article entitled "John H. Reagan-A Character
Sketch," appearing in the May issue of that magazine.-W. F. M.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/. Accessed May 25, 2015.